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FULL ARTICLE | EDITORIAL 
Truckload of VW money buys jail free card  
Peter Schmidt | Editor

Published: Fri, 20th June 2018 15:11:16 GMT
 

VW jail free card

"By any measure, the Volkswagen car brand continues to attract a great deal of media attention – but more often than not the news is not good. It just doesn’t stop.

Sparked by the seemingly never ending toxic fallout from the Volkswagen generated dieselgate scandal, the company still stands out as the enfant terrible in today’s car market. 

And yet, while infamous in much of the media - with lots of flack and finger wagging for its wrong-doing - among consumers, keen as ever for genuine bargains, Volkswagen’s discounted cars remain high on their shopping list. 

Not just in previously diesel dominated Europe and in China, but also in the US, which was first to get this ball rolling. 

This May sales of the VW car brand grew by a respective 6.1, 4.1 and 4 per cent in Europe, China and the US. 

Just when you think that a new beginning may be about to start, following severe dieselgate related bloodletting of around €30 billion to date, more revelations and more fines are rolling in. 

It just doesn’t stop. Less than 48 hours ago Volkswagen was condemned to fork out yet another big fine. 

That’s €1 billion, this time from a court in Germany. And sensibly, Volkswagen said it “accepts the fine and, by doing so, admits its responsibility.” 

That this ruling is being weaponised now comes hardly as a surprise. 

A likely avalanche of compensation claims, but this time from disgruntled owners of VW Group diesels in Europe. 

For Volkswagen there’s no alternative. 

Best face the music in its own backyard and only then prepare for a genuine new dawn.

Given this backdrop, particularly damaging in negative image terms, it is hard to believe that a company can survive, let alone bounce back. 

Judged from today’s Acea European car sales estimates for May that is exactly what’s happening. 

If ever proof was needed as to what is most crucial for Joe Public, Volkswagen’s surprisingly good car sales performance sheds light on this issue – truckloads of money.

Despite years of endless media flak, new car buyers, offered a good deal by their Volkswagen dealer, appear only too willing to forgive and forget. 

That’s the message from Acea’s astonishing May car sales figures in Europe. 

With a 6 per cent May car sales gain in Western Europe the Volkswagen brand, in the leading group, stands out as the fastest notable gainer. 

The ripples from Volkswagen’s value-drive are now also felt by Germany’s premium brands. 

The entire group, Mercedes, Audi and BMW all suffered from a rare dose of shrinking West European car sales at the five months stage.

More evidence, if any were needed, that the Volkswagen brand is bouncing back strongly, albeit with genuinely hot financial incentives, its West European sales at this year’s five month stage are already 7.4 per cent up on the same time last year, today’s Acea figures reveal. 

For Volkswagen, in spite of overwhelming odds against success, this is a striking rebound in a relatively short space of time. 

Another nugget of good news, this year’s Q1 operating margin reached 4.4 per cent. 

That’s more than double the lowly full year 2 per cent posted in fateful 2015.

No surprise then if automotive history will record Volkswagen’s astonishing all-round comeback as a classy act practically bordering in achievement terms on the miraculous transformation of water into wine.   
 

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